Blackpool is a borough seaside town in North West England. It is situated along England’s northwest coast by the Irish Sea.
Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire’s Hundred of Amounderness, and remained such until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast during the summer to bathe in sea water to improve well-being.
Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was incorporated as a borough, governed by its own town council and aldermen. In 1881 Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000 and a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres.
Blackpool’s major attractions and landmarks include Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, the Winter Gardens, and the UK’s only surviving first-generation tramway. Blackpool is also noted for its political autonomy, independent of Lancashire County Council.